Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said Wednesday that it will resume operations at the Kochi airport on August 29, three days later than the earlier commitment of August 26. “A meeting was held at CIAL today to review the damage control activities at Kochi airport, wherein most of the stake-holders including airlines and ground handling agencies expressed their concerns over mobilising manpower,” the airport operator said, adding that nearly 90 per cent of the employees of various stakeholders working there were affected due to floods and were out of Kochi.
“Nearby hotels, restaurants and eateries still remain closed. As central Kerala is yet to recover from post-flood trauma, it is a daunting task to arrange local commutation, logistics of catering items, which will cause a cascading effect on the passengers. In view of these apprehensions, CIAL decided to extend the date of resuming operations for three more days. We will be starting all operations at 1400 hours on August 29,” CIAL said in a statement.
Kochi airport closure extended by three days till August 29. 90% employees of airlines, ground handling agencies affected due to floods prompting them to seek additional time.@IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/YjwHIB2ed5
— Pranav Mukul (@pranavmukul) August 22, 2018
On Tuesday, CIAL had said that due to incessant flooding, the airport lost almost 2,600 meters of the perimeter wall. It added that the water-logging on the runway, taxiway, parking bays had completely receded but the runway needed some milling work, which was expected to be completed within two days.
The seventh-largest in the country, in terms of passenger traffic, the Kochi airport sees almost 55 per cent of its traffic from international passengers. In a report, CARE Ratings pointed out that passenger traffic of around 3.5-4.5 lakh is expected to be affected over a period of 12-15 days, causing revenue loss of Rs 22-27 crore to the airport. “An additional loss of business and revenue for other operations and services at the airport is expected to the extent of Rs 8-12 crore,” the report noted.
Following the closure of the airport, some of the airlines have moved their Kochi operations to nearby airports such as Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, while some of them have started operating to the naval air base in the city. The INS Garuda naval base served as Kochi’s main airport till the year 2000.
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